Brianne Murphy, 29 Director of Justice and Reentry Services, Transformation Yoga Project. Brianne Murphy’s connection to yoga runs deep. “I’d studied religion—specifically Buddhism—and yoga and mindfulness helped me during a critical time,” she says.
In college, Murphy was involved with social justice initiatives. Later, she was introduced to Kennett Square’s Transformation Yoga Project, a nonprofit that helps those impacted by addiction, trauma and incarceration—and she knew it was a perfect fit for her personal mission. As the organization expanded, Murphy became an integral member of the team. “I work most specifically with individuals impacted by incarceration,” she says.
Among others, she helps kids in the foster care system and those whose parents are incarcerated, employing yoga and mindfulness practices that she hopes will lead to healing. “Yoga offers a connection to oneself that’s unencumbered by stereotyping, by perceived limitations, by the stories or the limits that other people have placed upon those affected by the justice system,” says Murphy, who lives in Unionville.
At TYP, it’s less about getting the poses right than connecting to oneself and to the community at large. “Yoga is the vehicle to be able to form and forge that connection,” Murphy says.
Murphy has established yoga instruction programs at area institutions and schools, including Camelot Schools in Philadelphia, CCIU, Chester Upland School District and Glen Mills Schools, along with the Graterford, Muncy and Phoenix state correctional institutions. “Yoga offers the ability to understand how you can regain or rediscover a sense of purpose in offering that same opportunity for other people,” she says.